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Discussion Starter #1
I honestly thought the first thing to go would be her rear. She has arthritis, not bad enough to stop her from trying to play ball, but enough to stop her from going upstairs many nights.

Sheba turned 11 in June. She has been sleeping deeply in the last few months, which I know comes with old age and hearing loss. Still, I was shocked last week when came into the house through the garage instead of the front door. I was able to open both doors and walk right up to Sheba from behind while she was wide awake and focused on the front door. She never heard me until I was close enough to touch her. Six months ago she heard well enough to hear someone try to pry off a screen window on the opposite side of the house from where her bed is. Right now she is less than 3 feet away from me and I have to raise my voice to get her attention. Does hearing go that quickly?

<sigh> I've never dealt with this before. Cody's hearing was fine to the end. Right now I'm yelling and clapping my hands to get her attention when she isn't in the room with me. Tips to deal with this better are greatly appreciated.
 

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Yes, it does go that quickly. It was quite a shock for me too. Chama's hearing went almost completely in a 6 month period. Now I have to stomp on the floor for her to know that I'm there! The only positive thing is that she no longer has problems with fireworks.


In Chama's case it has made her more timid with other dogs because she can't hear them approaching. No problems with Rafi (who has learned to lick her to wake her up) but other dogs make her very nervous now. She's also more nervous around children.
 

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Quote:The only positive thing is that she no longer has problems with fireworks.
Yeah, I noticed that she is getting less freaked out by thunderstorms.
 

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Wow-that did happen fast-I'd probably just double check with the vet to make sure there wasn't a physical problem. But probably isn't?

Kramer also cannot hear thunderstorms or gunshots, which is nice. He CAN hear treat bags however.
I am not sure the depth of his hearing loss because he does throw out some of those confusing mixed messages!

I use a high pitched voice when I call him in the yard. Or if I want him to do something quickly.

I try not to touch him without warning, as he jumps-so I show my hand first. His vision has been getting worse so this is getting to be a challenge!

I still use hand signals even with the vision thing. Wide, sweeping hand signals!

I wonder if high "tinkly" bells can be used in some way? I wonder if they can hear those loud clickers? It's not like you really want to do a lot of training though-just so they know what is happening and don't get confused or scared, really. And if they associate those things with treats with whatever you want to do, that might help. Or a laser light just to get her attention.

I bet there are lots of things we've never even thought of that would work. There are sites for dogs who are deaf, too, that might help.

Kramer is also more nervous around the other dogs-and that comes out in a snappy way, but they are fine with it and I see them trying to be careful most of the time. He has snapped at me by mistake if I brush against him, thinking I am one of the dogs-but if she's not like that to begin with, I am thinking she'll be fine.

Sense of smell, touch, taste, vision-am I missing any? Use what is left of those is all I am trying to do. It's a challenge but every little bit helps, right! Good luck to you and Sheba.
 

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All my dogs went deaf, some faster than others. They could still feel vibrations, so I would sometimes stomp my foot if they were on the floor or slap the couch or bed if they were on them. I would turn the light on and off after dark to get their attention. I would very gently touch them so I wouldn't startle them. I would also wave my hand across their line of sight.

Fortunately, my dogs were all obedience dogs and knew hand signals and were very familiar with my facial expressions so I was still able to communicate fully with them.
 

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My guy has been "going deaf" for a year now. There are times when he appears to be hearing just fine, which is confusing for me. I think it is more likely that he has learned to compensate very well. The deep sleeps and random barking were the first signs that made me think something was off.

He pretty much consistently misses me coming home and I end up waking him by touching him. Clapping works well as do vibrations on the table. I think a whistle would work well as he reacts when my cell phone goes off and he can hear the clicker.

He learned hand signals as a pup and it has come in very handy in his senior days. I have created signs for his rope and ball which he picked up pretty quickly. I also use the light on/off technique when he goes out at night and it is time to come in.

It was really hard for me to accept initially, mainly because it was another reminder that he was aging and was something I didn't want to deal with. Mas handled it just fine...frankly I think there are days were he is glad he can't hear me!
 

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Quote:Kramer also cannot hear thunderstorms or gunshots, which is nice. He CAN hear treat bags however.
Kramer has "selective hearing loss"


Heidi is deaf due to ear surgery but has adjusted well. She too was afraid of thunderstrom, so it's nice that she doesn't react to them anymore. Now she is also losing her eye sight due to bilateral cataracts.

We really didn't change much in our routine with her, I just make sure she sees me before I touch her. A friend of mine was over the other day and she just reached out and touched Heidi on her back before I could tell her no but she just turned around and looked at her.

Heidi knew hand signals before she lost her hearing so that helped some but now at 13.5 yrs old we don't use them much they were mostly for obedience training. She also responds to my body language and I swear sometimes when I look at her she can read my mind


Just remember that if she's off leash that she may not be able to hear you calling her anymore but I think you two will be fine.

Michaela
 

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Hand signals are so important so we can still communicate. And I agree that they certainly can anticipate what we want (read our minds) just by watching our body language.

Getting old is he!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. She just had a wellness visit a couple of months ago and I can't see how anything would have gotten into her ears. She is never off leash outside of the yard and I'm usually in the yard with her.

I was wondering if there are any vibrating type of collar, I wouldn't want to shock her but a vibration would make her aware. Maybe I'll try a whistle and see how that works.
 

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My old girl seemed to go deaf overnight but she was 14yo and could still hear certain things (frequencies). We used to clap to get her attention, which semed to work well. I agree there are some benefits as she could not hear thunder - not that she was frightened but she would bark at it.
 

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Some of the Dogtra e-collars have a paging system on them. Aside from continuous and nic stims; it has a paging which is just a vibration (I tested it on myself). Could work for you. If not dogra.com; I'll bet there are such products.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I looked at the vibrating collars, a little more than I was hoping to spend. Too bad I can't take the stupid pager that my job requires me to carry around and clasp it to her collar. Guess I'll go back to stomping, clapping and yelling.
 

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When Zamboni is sleeping, I knock on the floor (or the wall) first, pounding a bit harder each time. The vibrations stir her from her deep sleep, so that when I wake her up, it's not just a shock (often, the vibrations wake her up themselves).

I've trained Camper to "Go get Zamboni" and he trots off and brings her in when she can't hear me calling for her to come. They both come trotting up, very pleased with themselves.

I second (third) Hand signals. Even if your dog never learned hand signals (Zamboni had not), it's not too late to teach them. Use lots of treats and train them as a brand new skill. Your dog will watch you, your hands, your body and your face for signals of what to do. Use all of these to your advantage.

For example, we use a golf swing motion that means "go this way" ("this way" being wherever our arms and head end up pointing). Dogs don't attenuate if you just point your finger or hand, but if your whole body points a certain way, they will. If you look a certain direction, they'll often look that way. Be creative and use your body to create a new language for Sheba.

Sometimes, I just have run up to tap her on the shoulder and signal what I want her to do next. She's gotten used to me tapping her on the shoulder, so it's not a surprise to her. If I tap her on different parts of her body each time, it might be. So it's always the shoulder.

I keep lamb treats in my pockets when we go in the yard, at the park, etc. She sees me putting them in my pocket and I feed her itty bitty bits while when she runs up to me. It's taught her to keep ME within close range too.

Before dinner, I put a small piece of meat in a small bowl in 1/2" of water in the microwave. The smell yells out "Dinnertime!" louder than I ever could, and she comes running! (I then pour the water over her kibble.
)

I used to walk her off leash all the time. She's still perfectly reliable and walks a couple steps behind me to know where I'm going, but I've realized that she likes the security of the leash. She has a more relaxed walk that way, even in places you'd never expect to have to leash a dog. She can just cruise along on the leash instead of trying to figure out what I'm going to do next.

Finally, losing hearing doesn't have to mean loss of an active lifestyle. Zamboni started losing her hearing about 2 years ago. Last month, we started our first ever agility class. I signal, run ahead of her, and signal some more. I use treats to lure until she understands what I want, then she knows what I mean by a certain signal. And she loves it! It's not as easy as the young dogs who are just told "jump" or "tunnel" and they know what to do next. But she's figured it out (and now, seeing the tunnel in front of her, she knows what to do). It takes some adjustments, that's all.
 

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Chama knew a lot of hand signals and I've taught her a few more. Luckily she is very, very smart and still has decent eyesight. She remembered the signal for shake (as in shake off the water). I point my finger at her and then I shake my booty. Worked every time.


They do change though when they lose their hearing. They sleep so much more deeply.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
Quote:
She remembered the signal for shake (as in shake off the water). I point my finger at her and then I shake my booty.
A video would be very instructive, please.
Ha! Thank goodness that doesn't exist!
My mom was cracking up when she saw me doing that and saw Chama shaking. The worst part was that I didn't even realize I was doing it!
I guess with Rafi I should wave my hand around or something...
 

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Quote:When Zamboni is sleeping, I knock on the floor (or the wall) first, pounding a bit harder each time. The vibrations stir her from her deep sleep, so that when I wake her up, it's not just a shock (often, the vibrations wake her up themselves).
This is helpful for me. My 15 year old is losing her hearing - actually may have lost most of it. I have startled her more than once reaching down to pet her when she didn't know I was there.

I once walked up to her from behind talking to her and when I stopped to pet her, she jumped sideways and fell over. She was extremely frightened.

I will be sure to make more noise on the floor when I come from behind her.

She also doesn't hear me in the yard, but both Skye and Buddy have earned to go get her when I ask them to.

Solo is my first deaf dog - her eyes are not good, but she sees shadows at least. Still loves her play time and grooming.


Thanks for all the tips.
 

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You might checkout eBay or Craigs List for potential used ones...may be lighter on the pocketbook.
 

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I banged on the wall this morning to alert Chama to my approach and she didn't like it--it startled her. She doesn't mind being touched to wake her up though. Rafi uses licks her feet to wake her up...just in case she decides to snap he stays away from her mouth. Smart boy!
 
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